In todays other papers: stray dogs, pornography and golden handshakes

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A NEW national emergency hotline to deal with dangerous dogs, stray animals and lost and found property is being considered by the Home Office to relieve pressure on police and other emergency services, the Sunday Telegraph reports. The digits 333 are one option being considered by the Government as part of a review of core policing functions.

Professor Paul Britton, forensic psychologist and police adviser, claims to have the first proof of a link between pornography and violent sex crimes, according to the Sunday Express. Britton told a law and order conference in London yesterday that he has enough evidence from his consulting rooms to publish a clinical study.

The Sunday Times reports that MI5 is investigating claims that British universities have been targeted by enemy intelligence as part of an international plot to steal nuclear, chemical and other military secrets. A Sunday Times study of 58,000 research projects at British universities has uncovered at least 100 funded by Iraq, Iran or Libya.

Defeated Euro-MPs will walk off with golden handshakes worth up to pounds 75,000 each. The 26 British MEPs beaten or standing down will cost the European public purse around pounds 2.2m. The Mail on Sunday says the golden handshakes will give each a month's salary for every year plus an extra month. The Britons have served an average of 12.5 years each on a salary of pounds 31,687.

The Observer reports that NHS hospitals in England and Wales are to be given star ratings to provide the public with an at-a-glance guide to local performance. Critics are pointing out that a hospital with five stars will not necessarily be better at curing illness than a one-star hospital.

Labour leadership contender John Prescott is under growing pressure to quit the race, the Sunday Mirror claims. Supporters of Tony Blair, the front runner, were last night urging the shadow employment secretary to concentrate on winning the deputy leadership instead. They believe this would give him a better chance of beating Margaret Beckett, whom they feel cannot be trusted in the number two post.